Zagg is most known for their invisibleSHIELD screen protectors and skins for portable gadgets like cell phones, ereaders, and tablets. They also sell accessories such as the ZAGGsparq, a portable battery pack and USB charger. Zagg was nice enough to send a sample to review.
The ZAGGsparq is essentially a 6000mAh Lithium Polymer battery with two USB ports attached. It has folding prongs on the corner for charging the device using a standard outlet, along with a European adapter. Along one edge there are four LEDs that indicate charge capacity and a button to turn them on.
The ZAGGsparq is mostly designed to be used for charging cell phones on the go, but it can charge other gadgets as well, including cameras, MP3 players, and other portable devices that charge over USB. I used it several times over the past few weeks on different ereaders and tablets.
It shows a picture of the Apple iPad 1 on the box so that is the first device I tested it on (the iPad 2 to be specific). It also says on the box it has enough power to charge a phone up to 4 times, obviously depending on the size of the battery. When it comes to a large battery like the iPad’s, however, you won’t get a full charge. The first test charged the iPad 57% and the second test 61%. After doing the tests, I noticed that Zagg claims it will charge the iPad from 0% – 60%, so that ended up being just about right on.
When charging ereaders and smaller tablets like the Sony PRS-350 and Pandigital Novel, I was able to charge approximately two devices most of the way with a single charge of the ZAGGsparq from a near dead or completely dead battery. Sometimes the second device would not quite get a full charge.
The charging works by connecting a USB to the ZAGGsparq. It has two ports, one optimized and one regular, and can charge two devices at the same time. The optimized port charges faster but isn’t compatible with all devices. In that case you use the regular port. The PRS-350 would not charge via the optimized port.
For one of the tests, I charged the ZAGGsparq and then let it sit for a week to see if it would hold its charge. It did. At least enough to give 4 lights, which indicates 80-100%.
The biggest negative with the ZAGGsparq is the price. It sells for $99 from ZAGG’s website. It’s a little cheaper on Amazon, $79 at the time of this review. During the course of the review I had no idea it would cost that much, but looking around at other portable battery chargers and rechargeable batteries it becomes evident that these types of products aren’t cheap.